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Convention Speeches

Bill Clinton, 1992 Series/Special. (2012) Bill Clinton accepts his party's nomination. New.

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Us 17, George Bush 5, Arkansas 5, Washington 4, United States 3, Barkley 2, Ross Perot 2, Harry Truman 1, Truman 1, Quarle Quigley 1, John Kennedy 1, Bush 1, Roe V. Wade 1, Baghdad 1, Fanny Lou 1, Lincoln 1, Awomen 1, Bonet 1, Sri Lanka 1, Chelsea 1,
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  CSPAN    Convention Speeches    Bill Clinton, 1992  Series/Special.  (2012)  
   Bill Clinton accepts his party's nomination. New.  

    September 1, 2012
    8:05 - 9:00pm EDT  

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>> the platform we built says it all. the most important family policy , labor policy, minority policy, and foreign policy america can have is an expanding trep neural economy of high-wage, high-skilled jobs! [cheers and applause] so play by the rules. in the name of the hard-working americans who make up our forgotten middle class, i proudly accept your nomination for president of the united states. [cheers and applause]
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i am a product of that middle class, and when i am president, you will be forgotten no more! we meet at a special moment in mishistory, you -- we meet at a special moment in history, you and i. communism has collapsed, and our values -- freedom, democracy, individual free rights -- they have triumphed all around the world. yet just as we have won the cold war abroad, we are losing the battles for economic opportunity and social justice here at home. [cheers and applause]
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now that we have changed the world, it is time to change america! [cheers and applause] i have news for the voices of greed and the defenders of the status quo, your time has come and gone. it is time for a change in america! [cheers and applause] tonight 10 million of our fellow americans are out of work. millions more work harder for less pay. unemployment only has to go up by one more person before a real recovery can begin. [cheers and applause]
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and mr. president, you are that man! [cheers and applause] this election is about putting the government back on your side. it is about putting people first. [cheers and applause] you know, i have said that all across the country. and when i do, someone always comes back to me and says, one man did, he said, that sounds
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good, bill. but you are a politician. why should i trust you? tonight, as plainly as i can, i want to tell you who i am, what i believe, and where i want to lead america. [applause] i never met my father. he was killed in a car wreck on a rainy road three months before i was born driving from chicago to arkansas to see my mother. after that, my mother had to support us. so we lived with my grandparents while she went back to louisiana to study nursing. [cheers and applause] i can still see her clearly tonight through the eyes of a 3-year-old kneeling at the railroad station and weeping as she put me back on the train to
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arkansas with my grandmother. she endured that bain because she -- pain because she knew her sacrifice was the only way she could support me and give me a better life. my mother taught me. she taught me about family and hard work and sacrifice. she held steady through tragedy after tragedy. and she held my family, my brother and i, together through tough times. as a child, i watched her go off to work each day at a time when it wasn't always easy to be a working mother. as an adult, i watched her fight off breast cancer. and again, she has taught me a lesson in courage. and always, always, she taught me to fight. that's why i will fight to create high-paying jobs so that parents can afford to raise
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their children today. that's why i'm so committed to make sure every american gets the hea -- health care that saved my mother's life. [cheers and applause] and that awomen's health care gets the same attention as men's. [applause] that's why i will fight to make sure women in this country receive respect and dignity, whether they work in the home, out of the home, or both. [cheers and applause] do you want to know where i get my fighting spirit?
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it all started with my mother. thank you, mother. i love you. when i think about opportunity for all americans, i think about my grandfather. he ran a country store in our little town of hope. there were no food stamps back then. when customers white or black came in with no money, he gave them food anyway. he just made a note of it. so did i. i learned to him to look up to people other folks looked down on. [cheers and applause] my grandfather had just a high school education, a grade school
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education, but in that country store he taught me more about equality in the eyes of the lord than all my professors in georgetown. more about the intrinsic worth of every individual than all the philosophers at oxford. more about the need for equal justice under the law than all the jurists at yale law school. if i want to -- if you want to know where i come by the passionate commitment i have of bringing poth -- people together without regard to race, it all started with my grandfather. [cheers and applause] i learned a lot from another person, too. a person who for more than 20 years has worked hard for our children. paying the price of time to make sure our schools don't fail us. someone who studied for a year
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going to p.t.a. meetings, town hall meetings, and putting together a package of school reforms recognized around the nation. doing it all while building a distinguished legal career and being a wonderful, loving mother. that person is my wife. [cheers and applause] hillary taught me each child has a right to learn. if you want to know how i learned so much about our children's future, it all started with hill tri.
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thank you. i love you. frankly, i'm fed up with politicians in washington lecturing us about family values. [cheers and applause] our families have values but our government doesn't. [cheers and applause] i want an america where family values live in our actions, not just in our speeches. that includes every family. every traditional family and every extended family. every single-parent family, every two-parent family, and
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every foster family. every family. [cheers and applause] 6 -- i do want to say something to the fathers in this country who have chosen to abandon their children by neglecting their child support. take responsibility for your clirn, or we will force you to do so. governments don't raise children, parents do. and you should. [cheers and applause]
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and i want to say something to everyone who grew up without a father and a mother. you are special, too. you matter to america. don't you let anyone ever tell you that you can't become whatever you want to be. [cheers and applause] and if other politicians make you feel like you are not a part of their family, come on and be part of ours. [cheers and applause]
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our government has lost touch with our values while our politicians continue to shout about it. i'm tired of it. i was raised to believe the american dream was built on rewarding hard work. but we have seen the folks in washington turn the american ethic on its head. for too long those who play by the rules and keep the faith have gotten the shaft. and those who cut corners and cut deals have been rewarded. people are working harder than
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ever, spending less time with their children, working nights and weekends at their jobs instead of going to p.t.a. and little league or scouts. and their incomes are still going down. their taxes are still going up. and the cost of health care, housing, and education are going through the roof. meanwhile, more and more of our best people are falling into poverty even though that they work 40 hours a week. our people are pleading for change, but government is in the way. it's been hijacked by privileged private interest. it has forgotten who really pays the bills around here. it has taken more of your money and given you less in return. we have got to go beyond the
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brain-dead politics in washington and give our people the kinds of government they deserve, a government that works for them! [applause] a president ought to be a powerful force for progress. but right now, i know how president lincoln felt when general mcclellen would not attack in the civil war. he asked him, if you are not going to use your army, may i borrow it? so i say, george bush, if you won't use your power to help america, step aside, i will!
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[cheers and applause] [crowd chanting "we want bill!"] our consumer is falling behind. we have gone from fifth to 13th
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in the world in agse -- wages since reagan and bush were in office. four years ago bush said america is a -- an important place. now under president bush america has an unpleasant economy stuck somewhere between germany and sri lanka. and for most americans, mr. president, life is a lot less kind and a lot less gentle than it was before your administration. [cheers and applause]
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[crowd chanting "we want bill!"] our country has fallen so far, so fast that just a few months ago, the japanese prime minister actually said he felt sympathy for the united states. [crowd booing] sympathy. when i am your president, the rest of the world will not look down on us with pity but come to
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us with respect again! [cheers and applause] what is george bush doing about our economic problem? now, four years ago, he promised 50 million new jobs by this time, and he's over -- now, four years ago, he promised 15 million new jobs by this time, and he's over 14 million short. al gore and i can do better. he has raised taxes on the people driving pick-up trucks and lowered taxes on the people riding in limousines. we can do better. he promised to balance the budget, but he hasn't even tried. in fact, the budget he submitted
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to congress nearly doubled the deficit. even worse, he wasted billions and reduced our investment in education and jobs. we can do better. [cheers and applause] if you are sick and tired of a government that doesn't work to create jobs, if you are sick and tired of a tax system that doesn't get you, if you are sick and tired of exploding debt or if you like fanny lou and you are just plain old sick and tired of being sick and tired, join us, work with us, win with us, and we can make our country
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the country it was meant to be! [cheers and applause] >> now, george bush had a game, but he has no game plan so that we can compete and win again in the global economy. i do. he will take on the big insurance companies to -- he will not take on the big insurance companies to get affordable insurance for all americans, but i will. [cheers and applause]
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he won't even implement a president for his own -- chairman for his commission on aids, but i will. he will not streamline the federal government and change the way it works, cut 100,000 bureaucrats and put 100,000 new police officers on the streets and cities of america, but i will. [cheers and applause] he has never balanced a budget. but i have 11 times. he bonet break the hold the special interests have on our elections and the lobbyists have on our government, but i will!
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[cheers and applause] he won't give mothers and fathers the simple chance to take some time off from work when a baby is born or a parent is sick, but i will. [cheers and applause] we are losing our farms at a rapid rate and he has no commitment to keep family farms in the family, but i do. [cheers and applause] he talked a lot about jobs but he has not waged that war on drugs and crime, but i will. he won't take the lead in protecting the environment and creating new jobs and
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environmental technology for the 21st century, but i will. [cheers and applause] you know what else? he doesn't have al gore, and i do. [cheers and applause] just in case you didn't know this, that's "gore" with an "e" on the end. [laughter]
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and george bush won't guarantee a woman's right to choose. i will. [cheers and applause] hear me now. i am not pro-abortion, i am pro-choice. i believe this difficult and painful decision should be left to the women of america.
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[cheers and applause] i hope the right to policies can be protected and we will never have to vote again on platform. i am old enough to remember what it was like before roe v. wade, and i do not want to return to the time when we make criminals of women and their doctors. [cheers and applause] jobs, education, health care, these are not just commitments from my lips, they are the work
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of my life. [cheers and applause] our priorities must be clear -- we will put our people first again. [cheers and applause] but priorities without a clear plan of action are just empty words. to turn our rhetoric into reality, we've got to change the way government does business fundamentally. until we do, we will continue to pour billions of dollars down the drain. the republicans have campaigned against big government for a generation. but have you noticed? they have run this big government for a generation. and they haven't changed a thing. they don't want to fix government, they still want to
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campaign against it and us all. [cheers and applause] but my fellow democrats, it is time for us to realize that we have some changing to do, too. there is not a program in government for every problem, and if we want to use government to help people, we have got to make it work again. because we are committed in this convention and this platform to making changes, we are as democrats in the words that ross perot himself said, a revitalized democratic party! [cheers and applause]
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i am well aware that all those people who rallied to ross perot's cause wanted to be in an army of patriots for change. tonight i say to them, join us, and together we will revitalize america! [cheers and applause] i don't have all the answers, but we know the old ways don't work.
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both private and public have failed, too. that's why we need a new approach to government. a government that offers more empowerment and less entitlement. more choices for young people in the schools they attend, in the bub schools they -- public schools they attend. [cheers and applause] and more choices for the elderly and the people with disabilities and the long-term care they receive. [cheers and applause] a government that expands opportunity, not bureaucracy. a government that understands jobs must come from growth in a vibrant and vital system of free enterprise. i call this approach a new covenant. a solemn agreement between the people and their government based not simply on what each of
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us can take, but what all of us must give to our nation. [cheers and applause] we offer opportunity. we demand responsibility. we will build an american community again. the choice we offer is not conservative or liberal. in many ways, it is not even republican or democratic. it's different, it's new and it will work. [cheers and applause] the values of the american people. of all the things of george bush has ever said that i disagree with, but the thing that bothers me most is how he derived and
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degrades the american tradition of seeing and seeking a better future. he mocks it. as a "vision thing." but just remember what the scripture says, "where there is no vision, the people perish." [cheers and applause] i hope nobody in this great hall tonight or tomorrow has to go through tomorrow without a vision. i hope no one ever tries to raise a child without a vision. i hope nobody ever starts a business or plants a crop in the
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ground without a vision. for where there is no vision, the people perish. [cheers and applause] we have so many children in so much trouble in so many places in this nation. it is because they have seen so little opportunity. so little responsibility. so little loving, caring community that they literally cannot imagine the life we are calling them to lead. [cheers and applause] and so i say again, where there is no vision, america will perish. what is a vision for america?
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a vision of america with millions of new jobs moving confidently toward the 21st century. an america that says to prep nures, we will give you more incentives and more opportunity than ever before to develop the skills of your workers and create american jobs and american wealth in the new global economy. [cheers and applause] you must do your part. american companies must act like american companies again, exporting products, not jobs! [cheers and applause] that's what this new america is
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all about. an america in which the doors are open again for stenographers and steel workers. we'll say everybody can borrow the money to go to college, but you must do your part. you must pay it back! from your pay check, or better yet, by going back home and serving your community. [cheers and applause] think of it, millions of men and women policing the streets or caring for the sick or working with the elderly and people with disabilities or helping young people to stay off drugs and our gangs giving us all a sense of new hope and limitless possibilities. that's what this new covenant is
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all about. [cheers and applause] an america in which health care is a right, not a privilege. in which we say to all of our people, your government has the courage, finally, to take on the health care profiteers and make health care affordable for every family. [cheers and applause] but you must do your part. preventative care, prenatal care, saving lives, saving families from heartbreak. that's what the new covenant is all about. an america in which middle class
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incomes, not middle class taxes are going up. an america in which the wealthiest few, those making over 200,000 a year, are asked to pay their fair share. [cheers and applause] an america in which the rich is not soaked but the middle class is not drown either. the responsibility starts at the top. that's what a new covenant is all about. an america where we end welfare as we know it. we will say to those on welfare, you will have and you deserve the opportunity through training and education, through child care and medical coverage, to liberate yourselves. [cheers and applause]
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when you can, i must work, because welfare should be a second chance, not a way of life. [cheers and applause] america with the world's strongest defense ready and willing to use force when necessary. an america at the forefront of the global efforts to preserve and protect our common environment and promoting global growth. an america that will not coddle tyrants from baghdad to beijing. [cheers and applause] an america that champions the
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cause of freedom and democracy from eastern europe to southern africa and in our own hemisphere in haiti and cuba! the end of the cold war permits us to reduce spending while still maintaining the strongest defense in the world. but we must plow back every dollar of defense cuts into building american jobs right here at home! [cheers and applause] i know that the world needs a strong america, but we have learned that strength begins at home. [cheers and applause]
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a new covenant is also about our common community. tonight every one of you knows deep in your heart that we too are divided. it is time to heal america. [cheers and applause] so everyone must say, we must look behind the stereotypes. we need each other.
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we don't have a person to waste. we hear people say it is about "them." "them" the homeless, "them" the gays, "them, and them and them. we have gotten to where we have nearly "them'd" ourselves to
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death. [cheers and applause] there is no "them," there is only "us." one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. [cheers and applause] [crowd chanting "we want bill!"] that is our pledge of allegiance, and that's what the
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new covenant is all about. [cheers and applause] we can come together and make change happen because i have seen it in my own state. in arkansas we are working together and we are making progress. no, there is no arkansas miracle, but there are a lot of miraculous people. [cheers and applause] and because of them our schools are better, our wages are higher, our factories are busier, our water is cleaner, and our budget is balanced. we're moving ahead. i wish i could say the same thing about america under the incumbent president.
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he took the richest country in the world and brought it down. we took one of the poorest states in america and lifted it up. [cheers and applause] so i say to all of those in this campaign season who would criticize arkansas, come on down. especially if you are from washington, come on down. [cheers and applause] sure, you will see us struggling against some of the problems we haven't solved yet, but you will also see a lot of great people doing amazing things. and you might even learn a thing
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or two. in the end, my fellow americans, this new covenant simply asks all of us to be americans again. old fashioned americans for a new time. opportunity. responsibility. community. when we pull together, america will pull ahead. throughout the whole history of this country, we have seen time and time and time again when we are united, we are unstoppable. [cheers and applause] we can seize in moment, make it exciting and energizing and heroic to be american again! [cheers and applause] we can renew our faith in each other and in ourselves.
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we can restore our sense of unit and community. as the scripture says, "our eyes have not yet seen nor our ears heard nor our minds imagined what we can build!" [cheers and applause] but i can't do this alone. no president can. it won't be easy and it won't be quick. we didn't get into this mess overnight, and we won't get out of it over night. but we can do it. with creativity, diversity, and drive! we can do it! [cheers and applause] we can do it! we can do it! we can do it! we can do it!
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[crowd chanting "we can do it"] i want every person in this hall and every person in this land to reach out and join us in a great new adventure to chart a bold new future. as a teenager, i heard john kennedy's summons to citizenship . then, as a student in georgetown, i heard that call clarified by a professor named quarle quigley who said to us that america was the greatest nation in history because our people have always believed in two things -- that tomorrow can be better than today and that every one of us has a personal,
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moral responsibility to make it so. [cheers and applause] that kind of future entered our lives the night our daughter chelsea was born. as i said in the delivery room, i was overcome with the thought that god had given me a blessing my own depaur never knew, the chance to hold my child -- my own father never knew, the chance to hold my child in my arms. somewhere in this very moment a child is being born in america. let it be our cause to give that child a happy home, a healthy family, and a hopeful future.
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let it be our cause to see that that child has a chance to live to the fullest of her god-given capacity. [cheers and applause] let it be our cause to see that child grow up strong and secure, braced by her challenges but never struggling alone with family and friends and a faith that in america no one is let -- left out, no one is left behind. [cheers and applause] let it be our cause that when this child is able, she gives something back to her children, her community, and her country. let it be our cause that we give this child a country that is coming together, not coming
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apart. a country of boundless hope and endless dreams. a country that once again lifts its people and inspires the world. let that be our cause, our commitment, and our new covenant! [cheers and applause] our fellow americans, i end tonight where it began for me. i still believe in a place called hope. god bless you, and god bless america. [cheers and applause] ♪
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>> we go back to 1948 now to hear the nomination acceptance speech from harry truman. he had taken office. he faced challenges from the left and the progressive party. and from conservative southern democrats concerned about his record on civil rights and labor unions. truman's speech is about half an hour. >> our leader and the next president of the united states. [cheers and applause]
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>> thank you, thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you.
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i'm sorry the microphones are in your way, but they have to be where they are so i can see what i'm doing, as i always am able to see what i'm doing. [cheers and applause] i cannot tell you how much i appreciate the honor you have conferred upon me. i shall continue to try to deserve it. i accept the nomination -- [cheers and applause]
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-- and i want to thank this convention for its unanimous nomination of my good friend and colleague, senator barkley of kentucky. [cheers and applause] he's a great man in a great service. senator barkley and i will win this election and make these republicans like it. don't you forget that. we'll do that because they are wrong and we are right, and i'll prove it to you in just a few minutes. [cheers and applause] this convention met to express the will and reaffirm the belief t